HC Deb 26 June 1996 vol 280 cc321-2
2. Mr. Michael Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what contribution is planned from public funds to assist schools in the provision of security cameras. [33197]

Mr. Robin Squire

Last week we announced extra funding for security cameras in 112 schools in England under the Home Office closed circuit television challenge scheme. The Department for Education and Employment contributed £2 million to the scheme. The Government also accept in full the recommendations of the working group on school security, including the provision of new money. That will support a further range of measures in schools, including security cameras where appropriate.

Mr. Brown

I welcome the announcement that the Secretary of State made yesterday to make a larger proportion of budgets directly available to schools. Does my hon. Friend think that there is also a case for making the funds that he announced last week directly available to individual schools? For example, schools in constituencies such as mine face problems of vandalism and security, which have to be paid for directly out of the school budget.

Mr. Squire

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his welcome of last week's announcement. I am sure that all hon. Members welcome it because school security is important. I can confirm to my hon. Friend that all the winning schools in the announcement will receive the money directly, but money for the new security measures, for which we will make provision in the annual grant guidelines, will be paid via local education authorities, not least because they are best placed to judge the relative priorities of conflicting bids in their areas.